Well! Here we are at last in the final innings of the Covid pandemic.
Cardus does its best work when it identifies both the questions people are asking and the questions we as a people should be asking.
Cardus’s areas of research have been near the top of our collective minds from the outset of the panic. Although the surface every day—sometimes it feels like every hour—has been an obsession with Covid, the underlying issues have been what this means:
- for our families and our care for each other and especially our elderly,
- our working futures,
- for our cities, suburbs and ex-urbs,
- for the education of our children,
- for the future role of government, and
- for our faith.
In the days after prior crises, people have questioned and re-imagined their worlds. Some historians say the Protestant Reformation had its roots in the bubonic plague of the 14th century. The wholesale reimagination after the Great Depression and WWII largely built our world today.
Going into this crisis we were appropriately concerned at the polarization that seemed to be sweeping the globe. We are already seeing how the reactions to the pandemic are being filtered through a polarized lens.
Finally, I was struck by the fact that this may have been the first broad crisis that has been lived in thoroughly secular terms. The broader community seems to have not only not welcomed spiritual insight or care: it has seemed to assign religious worship a value smaller than coffee shops and bars. There seems no broad sympathy or understanding for a sense of the sacred held by people of faith.
This White Paper, prepared by Senior Fellow Dr. Robert Joustra, is an excellent launching pad for the fact gathering, thought, and future directions this remarkable historical episode offers for Canadians.
We are starting this today with the end of this pandemic in sight. But truly we are just starting the process of thinking and debate. Policy makers, politicians, advocates of all types sense there is an opportunity to move the country from listening to acting on their proposals.
Cardus’s growth in depth and breadth over the past 20 years has prepared us for this period. The apostle Paul urges us to be joyful in hardship. We are well prepared, and now the hard, but joyful work begins.
Help us learn from your experiences and lessons. Help us consider the full menu of choices and future paths that are opening up for debate. Help us provide Canadians with thoughtful and faithful answers to the questions Providence has asked us in these days.
Chair of the Board of Directors